The Consultancy

Sustainable Museums is a consultancy for museums, sites, zoos, gardens, aquariums, and science & nature centers, anywhere, who want to plan more strategic engagement with initiatives around environmental sustainability and climate resilience. Sarah Sutton provides planning for institutions, and designs and provides support for individuals and institutions.

Most institutions are already doing some green work and green thinking. With support and a plan, it is so much simpler to tackle new projects with widespread benefits.

  • Are you planning to reduce your waste-to-landfill ratio?
  • Do you need to know where to begin to be more energy and resource efficient?
  • Do you have climate-driven disaster worries?
  • Are you ready to create a climate action plan?
  • Do you just need someone to talk to about how to begin your green journey?

When you work with Sustainable Museums you have access to a unique resource for examples within the field, innovation outside it, and to the intellectual support to help you assess and strategize for institutional change.

We draw on current research and practice in resource conservation and efficiencies, alternative energy, public engagement, and climate resilience and adaptation to help you makes the best decisions possible. Where else would you go to:

  • identify other museums testing energy efficiency and collections care, or
  • to develop a strategic sustainability plan, or
  • search for funding, or
  • explore what changes in the law or local codes will affect your institution?

Let’s talk about what suits your institution’s needs and resources, how new practices can support your mission and your community, and how sustainability and climate resilience work can protect and strengthen your institution.

Here’s what others have said:

“During Sarah’s work with a Strawbery Banke Museum staff team exploring how to introduce environmental sustainability as an institution-wide theme, we heard repeatedly in the weeks following how the staff came to see each other and the site in new, exciting ways, and how they enjoyed the way Sarah designed the team work and how she worked with them. They universally loved what she did and how she did it.”

     -Larry Yerdon, President, Strawbery Banke Museums

“Sarah is a great support to our team over the years as Detroit Zoological Society takes on important strategic green changes. She has helped us deepen and broaden our culture of sustainability, supported us with important examples from the field, and always been a cheerful influence.”

     -Gerry VanAcker, Chief Operations Officer, Detroit Zoological Society

Dumbarton House embarked on an effort to increase its sustainability back in 2010, both in an effort to conserve environmental resources and to positively impact our bottom line. Throughout the process, Sarah served as both an inspiring model and a supportive “coach” for our staff. She reviewed drafts of our Sustainability Action Plan, provided helpful resources, and helped us plan for sustainability in our grant application process in order to gain some financial support to advance our goals.

Meanwhile, through our efforts and our work with Sarah in this area Dumbarton House achieved significant recognition for our work—appearing in various articles and books in professional publications and receiving the 2013 Mayor’s Sustainability Award here in Washington, DC—the only museum or historic site to ever be recognized in this way. Through our work with Sarah, we have learned that “being green” is possible even for small museums and historic sites, and even with a small budget.”

     -Karen Daly, Executive Director, Dumbarton House, Headquarters for the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America